The View From Churchmans

Ipswich Town home match reports from just another season-ticket holder


Ipswich Town 1 Bradford 2

Well, I accidentally left my shirt at home (bad omen), but having Master
Rand Jnr as “Toddler of the Month” in the programme was cool, and that was
enough to make me feel it was going to be a good night as they ran out.
That, and the small matter of the presence of M.Holland Esq. But it was
misplaced confidence. We were back to that “looks reasonably professional
but ultimately goes nowhere” style we’ve seen time after time against sides
we ought to beat. A few good passes, even a few good moves, but once the
ball was in the last third, very little happened.

Bradford were no great shakes, and the game could have gone either way, but
they were far from the most boring opposition we’ll see this season, and
hey, they took their chances, which is more than we did. Their coachload of
fans (100 or so) had a good time: had the game been in the afternoon they’d
probably have brought ten times as many, giving us a full Matt-Week of
additional gate money. An evening game on a Bank Holiday Monday against one
of the teams who have to travel the furthest to play us all season? What a
good idea that was.

So why did we lose? Having only ten men for an hour didn’t help. If we have
to pay someone to take Finidi off our hands, my tenner will be the first in
the collecting bucket. I think the only way Burley’s going to stop picking
him is if he’s safely back in Spain. Or anywhere outside Suffolk for all I
care. The defence was atrocious: with a four-man back line there’s no room
for slackers, and when one of the four is Jermaininho, even more so. One bad
performance (Thomas Gaardsoe, come on down…) and the whole thing falls to

Burley’s plan to get 100 goals means there’s probably an unwritten subtext
that he expects us to let in 85 while doing it. At this rate just one of
those is sure to happen…

What needs sorting out, on this evening’s performance? The same thing as was
seemingly apparent on Saturday, and quite frankly for most of last season.
We need a defence made up of defenders (one centre-back, one reserve
centre-back, a wing-back and a midfielder …inspires you with confidence,
doesn’t it?). We need one, or preferably two, strikers who are prepared to
get in the box and have a go. And of course we need to get shot of lazy sods
who get paid good money for doing bugger all. You know who you are, Mr
Finidi George.

Some ratings:
(1-5 for effort, 1-5 for achievement)

MARSHALL 5 (3/2): Generally OK, but made to look stupid for Bradford’s first
goal (where was he?). Didn’t seem to be able to pull together the shambles
in front of him either.

WRIGHT 5 (3/2), GAARDSOE 4 (3/1), HREIDARSSON 5 (3/2), CLAPHAM 7 (3/4): Just
be thankful the opposition was Ashley Ward and not Michael Owen. Gaardsoe
was very poor, giving away a series of unnecessary free-kicks, the last one
resulting in Bradford’s winner (that and him going to sleep after the free
kick had been given). Jamie was under almost no pressure defensively, and
got forward a lot; whilst few of his deliveries into the box were killers,
he at least consistently got them in.

MAGILTON 6 (4/2), HOLLAND 6 (3/3): Jim worked hard throughout, but couldn’t
do anything really positive all night – no change there, you might say. Matt
yet again looked a little subdued, but did get through more work than almost
anyone else on the pitch – no change there either.

FINIDI 3 (2/1), AMBROSE 7 (3/4): Finidi looked uninterested, and failed to
beat anyone all night. With Ambrose dazzling the other side, you got the
suspicion Burley was thinking it must be easier there, so he swapped them
over. Guess what? All the inspiration then came from the opposite wing.
Ambrose just needs that fraction more confidence, or perhaps that fraction
less respect for certain team-mates, and he’ll be magic. At the moment
though, he does all the hard work then wastes the ball on a colleague (Bent
D honourably excepted) rather than finishing it off himself.

STEWART 4 (3/1), Darren BENT 6 (4/2): For a while, I was going to give
Marcus the benefit of the doubt and assume that Burley’s been telling him to
patrol the third quarter of the pitch only. It just have been the Greene
King affecting my brain. Fortunately, everyone afterwards convinced me that
even Burley at his most unfathomable wouldn’t do that. No, Marcus has
decided for himself that he’s going to be a centre-forward who doesn’t need
to go near the box. He’s going to justify the odds on him being the
Division’s top scorer by having no more than one shot a game. All those
slick layoffs, 40 yards from goal. That’ll make the headlines. Not. If he’d
been playing in Matt’s position I’d have said Marcus had an average-to-poor
game. But he wasn’t. He was supposed to be the leader of the attack. We had
three players whose job was to supply him, and two of them did well. He
still couldn’t get more than one decent shot in, all game. AGAIN. If Marcus
can’t take the responsibility of being the goalscorer any more, quite
frankly I’d rather see Bam-Bam back.

Subs: WILNIS looked more like a full-back than Jermaininho. Not much of a
compliment, but there you go. At least it got Finidi off. Marcus BENT did
more in ten minutes than Stewart had bothered to do in the preceding eighty.
At least he knew where the goal was, and what a striker’s supposed to do
with the ball in its general vicinity.

The REFEREE set a precedent by playing advantage when the ball went off for
a goal-kick, and therefore may make a footnote in the history of the game.
The CROWD were irritable, and justifiably so. And my delightful son, star of
the matchday magazine, threw up in the car on the way home.

Reply to “Ipswich Town 1 Bradford 2”

Follow us on Twitter!

Site Search